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Donkin's World: No Cure

...Today GPs have devised a brilliant appointments system that has probably turned out to be the best cure available on the National Health Service. By the time you get your appointment you're feeling better...

Hypchondriac Richard Donkin pays another visit to the surgery and discovers that this time he really does have something that needs to be fixed.

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http://richarddonkin.com/

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Sweat-Tears-Evolution-Work/dp/1587990768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214554429&sr=1-2

I can remember the doctors' surgery as a child. It always seemed to be packed with coughing and sniffling urchins, sitting on their mothers' knees. There was no making appointments. You just had to wait.

Today GPs have devised a brilliant appointments system that has probably turned out to be the best cure available on the National Health Service. By the time you get your appointment you're feeling better. As the TV meerkat says: simples!

So these days I just book an appointment well in advance and turn up with whatever ailment is worrying me most. I have plenty of choice.

It's confession time. For years now I have been living with an incurable condition. Sometimes the symptoms are more pronounced than others and while mostly I get by consulting books, the internet and medical friends (who always confirm the worst) I do make occasional visits to the family doctor although I know there's nothing to be done.

I'm talking about hypochondria. I suppose it has its uses. It means that when I go to the surgery I can pick any one from six or seven concerns. There wouldn't be time for all of them. Besides I think it's best to keep one or two up your sleeve. It didn't go too well today at first. The doctor dismissed the upper body itching (now subsiding) as a seasonal sweat rash (I had already self-diagnosed type 2 diabetes).

So I raised the ante with a persistent "groin strain" that I suspected might be a hernia. Not a good one this as it means the rest of the consultation is like an audition for a Brian Rix farce. There's not much dignity in having your nether regions poked with your trousers and underpants around your ankles, but I suppose it was better than the prostate examination on my previous visit.

Anyway a couple of coughs from the patient and the doctor gave his verdict. The hernia turned out to be the real McCoy. Result! The doctor seemed as pleased as I was. He even shook my hand. No time-wasting today.

I'm going to be booked in for keyhole surgery, needing a local anaesthetic, so that the tear can be patched up. I blame it on the sailing. OK, it's never going to make an episode of House, but it should take my mind off the other stuff for a while.

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